Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

What is ADHD?
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the diagnostic term for a group of related conditions that affect a person’s ability to sit still, focus, pay attention, finish a task and control impulses. It is considered a disorder of the brain that is present at birth or develops shortly afterwards. ADHD used to be called attention deficit disorder or ADD, but the name was changed in 1994 to better reflect the physical manifestation of frequent, intense, unproductive movement that often characterizes the condition.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?
The main signs of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Depending on the particular variety of ADHD they have, people with the disorder may have trouble focusing on instructions, difficulty following through, trouble waiting their turn, lose or forget things, make careless mistakes, tend to fidget, and may be easily distracted. These symptoms can occur over the course of months and different symptoms may appear in different situations, such as school, work, or home. Some symptoms, such as hyperactivity, are often more subtle in adults, while others, like problems with organization and concentration, may be more obvious.

Who gets ADHD?
Although there is considerable and ongoing controversy, ADHD is estimated to affect between three and 12 percent of school-aged children and appears to be about 10 times more commonly diagnosed in boys than in girls. It is also increasingly diagnosed in adults.

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